Penthouse dining at 1-Atico takes diners to a whole new level at the heart of busy Orchard Road
On the 56th floor of ION Orchard lies a new lifestyle concept — 1-Atico, which houses three dis- tinct dining experiences: Fire, a contemporary Argentinian restaurant; Flnt, a Japanese-Peruvian-influenced sumiyaki bar and grill; and Atico Lounge. Located at 218 metres above ground level, the establishment has an impressive unobstructed view of the city that is gorgeous either by day or night, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows. Another highlight of 1-Atico is the open fire, wood grill kitchen where you can view chefs at work preparing the dishes around a flaming oven.
For the media tasting, we had a “moveable” feast, so to speak — we began at Flnt, a Peruvian-style sumiyaki grill cuisine with flavours taken from the Nikkei culture, and then moved to Fire for Argentinian food.
First, a bit of food history: In the 19th century, there was an influx of the Japanese into Peru and with migration came recipes they brought along. This was labelled Nikkei cuisine and it features Japanese interpretations of dishes that are steeped in Spanish influence in Peru. One example is ceviche. Sumyaki is translated as sumi, meaning “charcoal” and yaki, meaning “grilled”.
While we witnessed a spectacular sunset, our first dish arrived, Ceviche Nikkei ($25). Delicate slices of yellowtail fish with roasted hazelnuts, shallots, tomatoes, white corn and avocado are tossed in leche de tigre or the citrus mixture commonly used in any ceviche dish.
Next is the Inaka Sushi ($14) a dish where the fish is grilled to perfection and the charring can be tasted in the seared salmon, ikura, seaweed and yellow pepper.
Foie Gras Taco ($12 a piece) is crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside — grilled foie gras served with yogurt and flying fish roe. The whole dish comes together with just the right amount of kaffir lime.
In between dishes, we sipped on Mizuame ($25) a luscious mix of cognac, Kyoho grape sake, blood orange liqueur, cherry blossom syrup, fresh citrus and dry ice.
From Flnt, we head up a short flight of steps, past the binchotan-fuelled grill oven, to Fire, for another dining-with-altitude experience. This time, we get a taste of Argentina that adopts wood-fired cooking techniques using a variety of scented wood such as apple, oak and almond.
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Fire is central to Argentinian cooking and it starts with the Parrilla, an open wood-fired hearth grill with adjustable grates. Other supporting fires include Asado, prepared a la cruz over a bed of burning embers; Rescoldo, an ancient method of ingredients buried and cooked under the embers; Caldero, where the iron pot slowly simmers and bubbles over the flame; and Chapa, where the iron skillet is placed over the coals a la plancha style.
Here, communal dining is encouraged as the portions are rather generous. We started with Mud Crab ‘Rescoldo’ ($36), a fresh concoction of crab cooked under the glowing embers of almond wood. Hokkaido scallops are added with charred fennel and clementines take the flavour to a next level.
Next is the Salt-baked Whole Rainbow Trout (400g, $52; 600g, $70); a dish that is fairly easy to make but can easily go wrong too, with too much salt or not enough salt. At Fire, the trout is buried in salt that is flavoured with fennel seed, parsley, and lemon zest seasoning. The fish is baked in the open oven and arrives on your table piping hot and wafting with a delicious aroma.
1-Atico is created by F&B group 1-Group, which runs a collection of destination dining such as 1-Altitude, Monti and 1-V:U, plus heritage venues including The Alkaff Mansion, The Summer House, The Garage and The River House.